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Project Staff





Robert Alan Goldberg

Robert Alan Goldberg, is Professor of History and Director of the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah.  He is the author of eight books, including the Pulitzer Prize nominated Barry Goldwater and Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America. Recently, with Jackson Newell and Linda Newell, he edited Conscience and Community: Sterling M. McMurrin, Obert C. Tanner, and Lowell L. Bennion. Goldberg has won twelve teaching honors, and in 2003, he held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the Swedish Institute for North American Studies, Uppsala University.  He received the University of Utah’s most prestigious award, the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, in 2008.  He specializes in American social and political history, popular culture, Jewish American history, and the American West. 

Paul Paul Reeve is Professor of History and holder of the Simmons Professorship in Mormon Studies at the University of Utah and teaches courses on Utah history, Mormon history, and the history of the U.S. West. He has written Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness and Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes.Reeve has received multiple teaching awards, serves on the Board of Editors of the Utah Historical Quarterly and Faculty Advisory Council of the University of Utah Press, and will be President of the Mormon History Association in 2019. Reeve and Goldberg co-organized “Black, White, and Mormon” I (2015) and II (2018), conferences which addressed a controversial topic, drew national media attention, and gave unprecedented voice to black Mormons.


We have selected faculty for Manifest Destiny Reconsidered: The Utah Experience based on their research expertise, publication records, community connections, and teaching abilities. This group is comprised of scholar-teachers and community members who have dedicated their careers to the study of Utah, the Great Basin region, its peoples, history, and landmarks.  Despite their common interests, this group offers a diversity of perspectives and interpretations that will present Utah as the mosaic that it is.

Ryan Dearinger

Ryan Dearinger, Associate Professor of History at Eastern Oregon University, specializes in the American West, immigration, race and ethnicity, and labor and working-class history and wrote The Filth of Progress: Immigrants, Americans, and the Building of Canals and Railroads in the West.  He is a contributor to Stanford University’s Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project and was recently named to the Distinguished Speakers Program sponsored by the Heritage Resources Division of the Western Washington University Libraries and the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at WWU.

Keith Erekson

Keith Erekson, Director of the LDS Church History Library, is a prominent and award-winning scholar of educational methodology in historical fields and an expert on public engagement with history. Trained at the University of Texas at El Paso and Indiana University, Dr. Erekson frequently lectures to public audiences, directs workshops with school teachers and history professionals nationwide, and consults with leaders of historical sites and commemorations.
Matt Grow

Matt Grow is Director of Publications for the LDS Church History Department and author of  “Liberty to the Downtrodden”: Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer.  He is a University of Notre Dame trained historian and leading expert on the Utah War and Mountain Meadows Massacre.
Jeff Nokes

Jeff Nokes is an Assistant Professor of History at Brigham Young University who specializes in history pedagogy and teacher preparation.  He also is a former middle school and high school teacher.  Nokes wrote Building Students’ Historical Literacies: Learning to Read and Reason with Historical Texts and Evidence and conducts workshops on the Bear River Massacre for Utah history teachers from across the state. 
Darren Parry

Darren Parry is a direct descendent of the chief of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone at the time of the Bear River Massacre and the current chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone. Parry and other tribal members recently acquired 600 acres at the massacre site and are working with local architects to develop the "Boa Ogoi" ("Big River") Cultural Interpretive Center.  This structure, which incorporates the landscape into its design, will offer a glimpse of Shoshone life and honor massacre victims and survivors. 
Andrea Radke-Moss

Andrea Radke-Moss is a professor of history at Brigham Young University-Idaho and author of Bright Epoch: Women and Coeducation in the American West. She also serves as an historical consultant for Better Days 2020, a campaign dedicated to popularizing Utah women’s history in creative and communal ways. Her expertise in is American history, the American West, the Industrial Age and Progressive Era, suffrage, and women’s history.
Quinn Rollins 

Quinn Rollins teaches in the Granite School District and has taught Utah history to middle school students, facilitated professional development and continuing education for K-12 teachers, participated in five previous NEH workshops, and served as a peer teacher for a 2014 NEH Landmarks workshop and for our 2017 NEH Landmarks workshop.  Rollins also works with the Utah State Office of Education on core documents, materials adoption, and assessment. He is the author of Play Like a PIRATE: Engage Students with Toys, Games, and Comics.
Gregory E. Smoak

Gregory E. Smoak, Director of the American West Center and Associate Professor of History at the University of Utah, specializes in American Indian, American western, environmental, and public and oral history. Smoak has worked on projects for the National Park Service, the United States Forest Service, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Big Sandy Rancheria of Western Mono Indians, and the Navajo Nation.  He wrote Ghost Dances and Identity: Prophetic Religion and American Indian Ethnogenesis in the Nineteenth Century.
Emily Utt Emily Utt has a master’s degree in historic preservation and works as the curator for the LDS Church History Department. She specializes in historic preservation and research activities for Latter-day Saint meetinghouses, temples, and historic sites. She frequently conducts on-site workshops and tours and lectures on the relationship between architecture and local history.

This workshop also will rely on the expertise of on-site historians at several landmarks, including This is the Place Heritage Park, The Fort Douglas Military Museum and Cemetery, and the Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory Summit.

Tanner Humanities Center Staff

NEH Disclaimer: Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Last Updated: 6/30/21